Lila Braine

Time of Service:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 11 am at Woodlawn Cemetery

Place of Service:

Lila Braine née Rosenzveig died in New York City at Roosevelt hospital on Monday January 19, 2015 at the age of 89, as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was born on January 11, 1926 in Montreal, Canada to Amelia and Josef Rosenzveig. She was the first person in her family to attend college and her degrees came from McGill University in Montreal, culminating in a PhD in Psychology in 1951. Lila moved to New York City where she worked at New York Hospital. She married Martin D.S. Braine in 1960 and lived successively in Washington D.C., Jerusalem, and Santa Barbara, moving back to New York in 1971. After several years teaching at New York University, she became head of the Psychology Department at Barnard College, Columbia University. Over time, her interests shifted from perception, particularly children's perception, to a larger focus on developmental psychology. She was one of the founders of the Women's Studies Program at Barnard College and was its first chair in 1977-1978. She also acted as associate editor for the Psychology of Women Quarterly and served on the Advisory Board of the Barnard Center for Research on Women for decades. In addition to her academic occupations, Lila was politically active in feminist movements and struggles for racial and economic justice. In retirement, she was active with Women in Black, Dos Pueblos, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and Jewish Voices for Peace. She attended her last demonstration within a month of her death. Later in life, she also took up pottery as a way of expressing her creativity. She leaves behind her children, Jonathan and Naomi, their partners Muriel and Margo, and her grandchildren, Julien and Anaelle, extended family, as well as many friends, who will all miss her immensely. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: The Lila Braine Forgiveness Fund at Barnard College providing debt relief for exceptionally talented Barnard seniors who are the first generation in their families to attend college; Jews for Racial and Economic Justice; or Jewish Voices for Peace. The family will be receiving at Lila’s home on Wednesday and Thursday from 6 to 9 pm. A Memorial Service will take place at Barnard College in the Ella Weed Room at 5:30pm Friday January 23.
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